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The best things in life are for free!

June 29, 2014 12:39 IST

The best things in life are for free!

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Namrata Singh

Namrata Singh travelled to a tiny tribal village a little over 200 km from Mumbai and returned enriched.

When little stars come on earth and light up the night sky you are amazed and a part of you relives your childhood as the natural wonder is beyond what you can imagine in the hustle bustle of modern day to day life.

For Mumbaikars like me, a weekend trip is restricted to Pune or Lonavala and to find such a quaint little hideout just 220 kms outside of Mumbai was a blessing to begin with and also a steal.

The trip to Purushwadi, a tribal village, was organised by Grassroutes, which is into rural tourism and is extremely mindful of the environment and the local people. 

Their quest is to provide livelihood to these really poor villages by sustained 'in village' experience creation.

And an experience is quite an understatement when it comes to Purushwadi.

Once you enter the village ,you are welcomed with traditional Marathi topi (cap) and local flower and after that you find your 'tents'.

Yes, don't be shocked, it's in the middle of nowhwere and right at the heart of nature as you can imagine from the pictures.

The lack of infrastructure pinches you for a second before you get engulfed in the warmth of the local people and the breathtaking beauty around you.

Needless to say there’s no signal on your phone.

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Image: Visitors revel in the nature at Purushwadi.
Photographs: Courtesy Namrata Singh

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As soon as you are settled, your 'guide' takes you to your 'village' house for a meal.

It’s a small hut but squeaky clean and you are served food which is delicious and fresh and the grain and the rice along with the vegetables comes from the local fields.

A walk back to your tent calls for a siesta but not before you pluck your own mangoes from the trees for desserts!

The one-hour rest is much needed and oh so sweet.

You are hyper charged for the evening trek to the river at the bottom of the hill which is serene and surrounded by trees on all sides and just the sky over your head.

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Image: The tribal village is a natural spectacle.
Photographs: Courtesy Namrata Singh
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You can spend hours in the water and it's an indulgence away from regular life.

Before you get over this, the group is ready for another hike in the late evening towards the forest to catch the heroes of the trip -- the fireflies.

It's pitch dark and no torches are switched on and on the one-kilometre trek you end up looking at beautifully lit up trees which twinkle and time stops and you smile helplessly constantly.

The peace and the contentment you feel is beyond words.

And may I add the satisfaction of the savoury puranpoli and aamti bhaat post this walk is pure bliss?

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Image: Young kids play with goats in the folk village of Purushwadi.
Photographs: Courtesy Namrata Singh
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Mornings start early with a trek to the fields to pluck tomatoes and eat at the same time.

The inner child in you is ecstatic by now.

This is followed by jamun eating (again from the trees) and non-milky rose chai with kachha moongfali (raw groundnuts).

Damn a five-star hotel and give me these simple experiences of life anytime.

So much joy is packed into a day and a half that one wonders how one has survived a lifetime without this earthiness.

Everyone must do this one and if you have kids then you just have to do it for their soul if not your own.

The experience is priceless and like most good things in life, these experiences are free!

The cost of food and lodging goes to the villages as part of common kitty.

So go out, support a village and come back with memories to last you a lifetime.

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Do you want to share your travel story and pictures?

Simply write in to travelpicsga@rediffmail.com (subject line: 'My Travel Story'), along with pictures of the destination you're writing about. We'll publish the best ones right here on rediff.com!


Image: Purushwadi is located more than 200 kilometres away from the hustle and bustle of the city life.
Photographs: Courtesy Namrata Singh
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